Towing with a subaru

Asked by Jul 19, 2017 at 11:54 AM about the Subaru Outback

Question type: General

I'm planning to retire and road trip off and on for
the next five years. I'll be pulling a T@B trailer at
2000 lbs/ 150 lb tounge wt . My first choice is an
Outback for the all wheel drive and low top for a
double cartop box setup for non-towing travel in
snow.
This will be a new 2017/18 Outback with best
package I can find for towing...ie bigger engine,
beefy trans, and a  warranty to cover it.
My question is ... Does anyone have FIRST HAND
experience with this kind of setup? Problems,
advantages, horror stories or suggestions.
I don't need "buy a diesel/motorhome/truck"
advice...they don't work for me.

6 Answers

I towed a motorcycle trailer and 1 500lb bike with a 1997 VW Passat. Not your average hauler. The hitch type and install was key. Be careful of gross trailer weight and tongue load, and that the hitch type distributes the forces well for a unibody car. Make sure it's Subaru recognized and the car is specced to handle it. It can work, but you have to be more careful than with a full-frame truck. Look for a transmission cooler and possibly electric brakes on the trailer and brake controller option to keep the load off the car's brakes. I've also towed snowmobiles in a large covered trailer with a GMC 3/4 ton pickup.

74,525

I would buy a tow vehicle that does not have a CVT. Look up the car top carrier rating of the Outback, I believe it is 200 pounds or less.

74,525

Just curious, why do you think the Outback has a "beefy" transmission?

Yeah, bad choice of terminology, let's say strongest transmission that subaru offers in their outback...that may be only one choice. I read more posts about my plan, such as it is, thanks to you and the two guys from Boston and So Cal who like to swat at each other... I better understand my risks and have the list: 1.Accept that I am choosing a weaker vehicle for towing than a truck/SUV. 2. Balance the load on the tounge to rated weight. 3. Balance the load between tow vehicle and trailer. 4. Get trailer brakes package installed and a quality tow bar installation. 5. Get a transmission temp sensor and if necessary a transmission cooler installed. 6. Check and change transmission fluid regularly. 7. Buy a 50k/? year warranty from Subaru. 8. Easy acceleration from stop, on hills and on hot days. I think that covers it. Thanks all.

74,525

Yes that would be one choice, the CVT which Subaru now has been forced to extend the warranty (10 years/ 100,000 miles) due to all the problems. If you don't like trucks perhaps you could consider a SUV with a frame like the Expedition, Tahoe etc. In any case good luck!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,725

Sounds like you've got it pretty well thought out. Hilarious about mark and ern.

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